A visit to Worms may be made at any time, but note tht some of the museums are closed on Mondays and holidays. Worms has a populatio of about 80,000.
Tourist Information Office is at Neumarkt 14, behind the cathedral
Telephone +49 (06241) 250-45
Fax +49 (06241) 263-28
The famous dachshund at the Cathedral
Haha, I think it cannot get more “local customs” than this one, and I am very grateful to a nice lady who told me about this (and note, she adressed me when I was wandering through the Cathedral with my Japanese colleagues – this is also typical for Palatine people – they are just nice and helpful to any foreigners !)
Ok, the story is the following:
The extensive restaurations of the Cathedral early 20th century were lead by architect Philipp Brand. His dachshund was always with him, also at the construction works. One day, Philipp was on the scaffolding when his dog tried to bite him and he jumped away. That very moment, a huge stone fell down and crashed on the ground. So the dog has saved his master’s life. That’s why Philip has added a dachshund sculpture on the Cathedral’s southern portal.
If you stand in front of the southern portal, look up to your left – and you can see the dog smile :-)
Update, May 15, 2007:
now I have added the dachshund = Dackel photo :-)
Ibersheimer Dukatenscheißer (lol)
It cannot get more off path than this, but if you have time and are mobile when at Worms, you should go and see this most cutest tiny house yourself ! Ibersheim, a “suburb” of Worms (not actually suburb, but incorporated into Worms greater town), is only 12 km to the north at the banks of river Rhein. Just go to Rheindürkheim and then turn right, direction Ibersheim.
I am grateful again to Fritz Reuter, for having placed a photo of this in the booklet about Worms. As soon as I saw this photo, I knew I MUST go and find it. What a lovely and funny surprise, as it is part of a tiny little old house, which is a sight for itself !
Oh, the name :-) It only means something for German speaking people, and if I translate it into English, VT software would transform something into *** anyhow. Now how to explain this name ? Ducate sh***er maybe, but the little wooden carved sculpture speaks for itself, lol.
Well, this tiny guy (he is tiny in reality, if the sun wouldn’t have shine on his blank butt, I might not even have noticed him) is at the edge of a tiny house called Ammersheisje. Meaning house of the… erm, no none is actually sure if “Ammer” means poor (arm in German) or midwife (Hebamme in German), but this does not matter, does it ? Well, the house has been lovely renovated by the locals and not only has the little sh***er carved on but also lovely other carvings and paintings. One day, I’ll surely write about this lovely village and the house, as – ah thanks – Ibersheim is on VT database.
You can find it when turning at the sign Gemeindehaus, and just follow the road until you won’t get any further (= until you come to the dam which separates village from Rhein river).
The Old Synagogue
The oldest synagogue of Europe is in Worms, it was built in 1034, and renovated in 1175.The Nazis destroyed it, but the stones and bricks were saved and after WWII they were used for rebuilding.
Inside you can see a large menora, a pulpit and on the wall a plate with the names of victims of the holocaust. There is also a light on the wall, with a few words written unerneath.The only word I could read was "shoah", so I think it's also remembering the holocaust.
Today the synagogue is a museum. There is no entry fee, but a museum guardian has a look at the visitors and also makes sure men will cover their head.
At the entrance there is a basket with caps.
Next to the synagogue you can walk down the stairs to the old Jewish bath, the mikwe.The steps are irregular, and even though it was a hot day when we were visiting, they were slippery. I wouldn't like to walk down there on a cold winter day.
Behind the synagogue there is the former Jewish school, the Jeshiva, now the Jewish museum. We had to catch our bus and didn't have enough time left to go there.
The Cathedral of Worms is outstanding, and probably the main draw of the town. You can see the cathedral's roof and towers for miles around, and it makes an impressive part of the town's skyline. It is very distinctive, and looks particularly spectactulare from the front, and has a few Gothic additions mixed in with its basic Romanesque construction. Historically the cathedral is of great importance: built in the 12th century it became the center of the Holy Roman Empire and here were made decisions of such importance they affected a huge swathe of humanity. It remains one of the greatest monuments of German medieval architecture, and should impress as much today as it did when it was first built.